A nurse who knits…

July 29, 2007

I found another knitting group!!!

Filed under: Knitting,Life in general — yarnnut @ 5:28 pm

It’s so fun to knit with others. I found that out a last year in Michigan when I was fortunate to have a LYS w/in 10 minutes of me and tons of cool people to knit with at Threadbear. Hi to Dirty Sue, Sharon, and Kris .  I think that Laura, Emily, and Jean are blogless but if one of the three of you start blogging you have to let me know so I can keep up with what’s going on w/ you.

So now, I found two groups to knit with.  One meets every Wednesday morning at the Panera in Carmel Mountain Ranch.  Great group of ladies who are ADVANCED knitters.  One of them was my teacher from Michael’s 3 years ago.   There are a few beginners but several knit incredible projects up.  We talk about knitting techniques, classes, vacations… Very fun group.

The other one I found meets every Saturday morning at the Panera in Mira Mesa.  This one is a bigger group and I attended my first meeting yesterday.  I had a great time.  These knitters are a bit younger as a whole.  I met a professional mother, a CPA, a mother to be, and several grandmothers.   Fun group and I plan on going when I don’t have to work.  Next Saturday, these ladies are doing a yarn crawl in Encinitas and I’m so sad that I have to work that day…. hmmm… do you think my manager will buy that I’m sick???

My Lucy bag is on hold until Wednesday.  I want to show my mess up to my group and get some help.  I miss counted my bind off stitches at the top and am having trouble visualizing how to fix the problem.  I could probably just frogg it but that would annoy me to no end.  But I may do that today.  I started on the Two Toned Shrug from Fitted Knits, only I’m doing it in one tone.  So I guess I’ll call mine the One Tone Shrug or OTS.

I’m having a bit of trouble  getting some things returned from Alaska.  I had bought 2 Alexandrite rings in “preferred stores”.  Royal Caribbean promised to return anything that a customer isn’t happy with.  Needless to say, RC is not wanting to take back a $3k ring.  I bought the first ring at Diamond International in Ketchikan, AK.  I was told it was a great Alexandrite that was .78 carats.  It was set in a pretty setting w/ 1 carat of small diamonds.  It doesn’t change color that much but I was told that I couldn’t find an alexandrite w/ great color change anymore because the mines were exhausted.  So I bought it.  I was wrong.  I found stones w/ significant color change in the next port and was of course upset.  I talked to the shopping coordinator on RC and she told me that RC will take care of returning the ring to Diamond International and I bought a second ring b/c the shopping facilitator verbally and later in an email promised that the first one can be returned.  I was extremely happy with this ring until I got it appraised yesterday.  I was told that the ring appraised for $4825.  I got it appraised here in San Diego and at most the ring is worth $2100.  Now I’m upset again.  The appraiser told me that I should be able to return this ring because it was not disclosed to me that the yellow diamonds in the setting are heat treated.  My alexandrite at least is of good quality and changes color like it should.  It must be disclosed to the buyer that diamonds are treated.  Not disclosing such information is fraud.  So at least I have a legal reason for returning the ring.  The appraiser will get me the appraisal next week and I’ll contact Goodmark (seller of the second ring) next week.  I’ll let you know what the outcome is.  The gemologist told me that I can get a ring similar to the one I have made later if I chose to return my ring.

Hopefully, my vacation addled brain is healed and will serve as a lesson to others who are wanting to buy jewelry on a vacation.  Do your research ahead of time.  These jewelers will typically have a strict return policy meaning, you won’t be able to return it without a fight.  An appraisal w/in 1 week of getting home is essential.  Most places will only talk to you if you call them w/in 30 days of purchase.  I suggest no one buy jewelry from any store that they can’t go to easily.  If you buy from the Caribbean or Alaska, they know you can’t knock on there door.  And the headquarters are very squirmy.  I was told that I have to get an appraisal from an independent GIA certified gemologist who does not sell jewelry.  Almost all gem appraisers sell jewelry b/c they also have to make a living.  Don’t let impulsiveness tell you to buy expensive jewelry.  Especially when you are still paying off student loans.  Ugh… I have made an expensive mistake.


July 22, 2007

A trip of a lifetime– Caution img heavy!!!

Filed under: Travel — yarnnut @ 8:39 pm

I’m back from my Alaskan cruise of the Inside Passage. It was absolutely awesome. Matt and I left 7/13 from Vancouver, BC and returned from Anchorage, AK on 7/20. Our ship was Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas and I think we’re officially spoiled. It was a beautiful ship and we had a balcony room so we were able to enjoy spectacular views from right outside our bedroom. Here’s a few pics of the ship and us relaxing while still docked in Vancouver.

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Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe outdoor pool
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe rock climbing wall
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Our first day had us cruising to Ketchikan, AK. During that first day we explored the ship, ate, and saw some porpoise. Unfortunately, Matt or I didn’t have our cameras to capture the sighting but the porpoise swam right up to our ship. Outside of our balcony later that day we saw humpback whales.The next day we were on shore at Ketchikan . We didn’t have any shore excursions planned. Ketchikan today is known for their salmon runs and for being a cruise port. Our tour consisted of us walking around the town taking in famous Creek Street. Creek Street has a very colorful past filled with fisherman, trade, and a woman named Dolly who ran a successful “house.” According to the guide books, a place worth plunking down your $5 to tour the home of Alaska’s most famous madam.

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In her spare time, Dolly knitted.
We reboarded our boat and took off at 8 pm. For those of you who haven’t experienced Alaskan days, the days were getting pretty long. At this point in our cruise, sunset was about 9:30 pm. Yikes! We sailed on to Juneau, AK where we were supposed to take a helicopter trek to walk on Mendenhall glacier for 2 hours. Unfortunately, Juneau was foggy and rainy… and you know what that means. Our tour was canceled 😦 So we did what we did best at this point. Walked around the town. Took a shuttle to Mendenhall glacier so we got as close as we could. Here’s a pic of this incredible site. Juneau is home to 1500 miles of ice fields. So, your chances of seeing one are extremely high.

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Guess what I found. A yarn store on the main drag. It was called Skeins and it’s located on the 2nd floor of a store front. I forget what street it’s on but it’s on the same street as the Red Dog, a famous saloon that is known for having sawdust on the floor. We stopped in but didn’t stay as Matt gets antsy in a LYS. We spent the rest of the day buying souvenirs and smoked salmon. I learned to appreciate salmon dip. So yummy served w/ crackers. For being a state capital, Juneau is pretty small. There are no freeways that lead to Juneau and the big joke is that you have to get to Juneau by air, water, or birth. The next day, we found ourselves in Skagway, AK where we took a train ride 27 miles up a mountain into Canada. It follows the White Pass trail that gold hunters used to get to Dawson City in the Yukon. We saw Dead Horse valley where 3000 horses lost there lives on the ride up the mountain. In order to get to the gold fields, the Canadian mounties required gold seekers to take 1000 lbs of food and supplies w/ them. Some of the men used horses that they bought in Skagway. According to our tour guide, many of these “sourdough” were inexperienced horsemen who loaded their horses with too much weight and beat them to get them up the mountain. The horses died from the heavy loads, beatings, or from starvation. We saw the Canadian/Alaskan border. The landscape was incredible. To end the story of the gold rush, many men found themselves in Dawson City a year too late and didn’t get rich quick.In Skagway, I found my Alexandrite ring. If you ever get to Alaska or find yourself in the Caribbean, please look at this gemstone. It’s absolutely incredible. It is the only natural gemstone that changes from mossy green in natural light to red or purple in artificial light. I also found a LYS. In a town of 800 people, knitters demand a LYS!

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 The yarn store owner gave me a piece of quivet roving.  I have no idea what to do with it though.  If there is someone who wants to play w/ it, let me know.

I have more to share but this particular post is getting rather big, so I’ll post more next week:)

July 6, 2007

Hot days…

Filed under: Knitting,Life in general,Nursing — yarnnut @ 4:24 pm

It’s forecasted to be about 90 deg here today. Ugh… I’m heading to the beach to cool off a bit. The good thing about summer is that it’s only this hot about 3 days the whole summer. One funny thing about me is that no matter how hot it is, I hate the air conditioning blowing on me. Gives me the chills. And I can’t sleep w/ it on. When I lived in MI last year, I never turned on the a/c even when it was super hot and super humid.

I went to my second Hearts and Hands Doula orientation and I’m super excited to be starting this as a volunteer. Yesterday, we learned where everything is. I’ve always wanted to do something that I think will make a difference in the world and especially women. I still can’t get on the schedule to start attending births because I haven’t completed the volunteer process yet. They want me to do 2 TB tests, attend another orientation, get my ID card, get a uniform, and a ton of other things. Gosh… you really have to want to be a volunteer to do this. I think this is more work than I did for my other job. I have to get another TB test for work in August. I’m hoping I can get it done just once. Has anyone seen someone with an allergic reaction to the TB shot?

I scheduled myself to work on the 4th of July so I could get holiday pay.  (Hey, w/ this vacation coming up, I can use all the extra cash I can earn.) But my floor was slow.  4 nurses scheduled and 10 patients.  So they floated me to another tele floor, 4E.  This is a floor that pretty much gets everyone w/ tele monitoring.  I had a lady w/ atrial fib who was on oral meds and was waiting to go to a rehab unit, a guy who had chest pain and was throwing v-tach the whole day, and 2 deaf blind patients who wanted to get out of bed.  I had a sitter for one of them but not for my 102 year old pt.  She was so fragile and couldn’t follow instructions because she couldn’t hear or see what I was trying to tell her.  At the end of the day, I only had one patient.  So my assignment wasn’t so bad.  But there were some really sick people there.  Another nurse who usually works on my floor was up there too.  She had a patient who had awful wounds.  She told me that her skin looked bad on her initial assessment and it was really bad by noon.  The doc was called and he transfered her to the ICU.  I felt sorry for the patient.  Everytime I walked by her room, I could smell her wounds.  It smelled awful.  I hope she heals soon.

Still working on the Goddess top.  It’s slow going.  I’m at the initial shoulder shaping.  Lots of unusually instruction in this pattern.  You start w/ a provisional cast on and after the first 3 rows, you knit back into the first row.  After you finish 2 inches of the pattern stitch, you unravel the provisional cast on.  I was super scared to do that.  I’ll post a progress pic when I get a little farther along.  It’s almost embarrassing what I did since last week.  I have a feeling that this project will be spectacular but will take a long time.

Thanks for all the kind comments on my blue top.  I love it.  I haven’t started my shrug but it will probably be started to give me a break from the Goddess.

July 1, 2007

FO: Turtleneck Tube Vest

Filed under: Knitting — yarnnut @ 1:17 am

This project has been finished for a while. Those of you who know me know that finishing work like weaving ends in, takes me a very long time. So here are some brag pictures.

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This was a very fun knit from Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel.  I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and the mods I did were to shorten the turtle neck portion.  I love this sweater and plan to wear it to a family party tonight.